Second Sunrise Archive: US Army Denim Pullover

Vintage US Army Denim Pullover

Maker - Unknown
Era - 30-40s
Fabric - Cotton 2x1 denim
Acquired - by Second Sunrise in 2017

The blue denim fabric was first adopted by the US army in 1919 replacing the brown cotton duck work clothes used before that. The first uniform consisted of a two piece work uniform, a jumper style pullover and a five pocket work pant. This pullover is a fine example of such a garment and it was standard issue up until the 40's. In the 40's the pullover was changed to a jacket with lower pockets and a buttoned up front and the story goes that this was due to complaints about the pullovers ripping down the front when used. That was the end of the denim pullover in the US Army.

The front of the pullover and as you can see the lower front has ripped on this one, exactly the kind of damage that made the army replace it.

The back has a large repair where the biggest part of the back has been exchanged. It's hard to tell when the repairs were made and it could have been back in the 40s but it might as well might have been in recent years. The fabric used for the repair is the same 2x1 denim quality used in the rest of the garment but it's in a darker shade, showing that this fabric hasn't been used as much as the rest of the garment.


Detail of the repair up close. As you can see it's made using a single needle lock stitch seam sewn back and forth making a zig zag pattern.

Inside the front pockets we find the selvage edge. It's not folded to make a hem, probably because the selvage doesn't need to be overlocked and won't rip. This is also a production shortcut. 

The buttons on this version are doughnut buttons that have been sewn on using a machine. These buttons were made of steel that has rusted over time. On one of them you can see the text Oragon, it has most likely had another text on the button as well but time has made that part unreadable. The buttons are the mysterious part of this pullover since the US Army used stitch-on buttons with the text US Army on them. This might mean that this jacket was made as a civilian jacket, or that it's a very early military jacket made before the other type of button was standard. 

On the side of the pullover you can see that the width of the jacket has been altered at some time. The length of the stitches indicate that the alteration was dome by hand and it has obviously been worn in that way for a long time by the look of the difference in the denim shade. 

The pullover is now a part of our archive and we keep it as an inspirational piece.
Want to see last weeks blog post? Read about more vintage Here!

Leave a comment